If you read my pieces on the regular, you know that I’ve mentioned, more than once, that I prefer my cycling stuff to be subtly branded. San Francisco, California’s Ornot has the same preference when it comes to subtle branding. I mean, it’s in their slogan: “You could be a rolling billboard, Ornot”. I can get on board with that.
So, back in September, I wrote a news piece on Ornot’s new large handlebar bag. While writing the piece I read that the subtle branding isn’t just a catchy slogan, it’s part of the company’s overall goal: “to change the landscape by offering well-designed cycling clothing, with minimal branding, made right here in California, that doesn’t break your wallet”
The bags were handsome and had some cool features. I decided to call and get one of these bags in for review. They sent me two, a Black one for my Masi Incanto gravel bike, and one in the color Coyote, for my Rivendell Gus Boots Willsen.
Ornot Large Handlebar Bag
The Large Handlebar bag is a barrel-type handlebar bag that uses a stiff “frame sheet” that helps with structure and keeps the bag shape. It measures 13cm x 22cm, has a 3.1-liter capacity, and weighs in at 260 grams.
It has a couple of unique features that I dig, like the way it attaches to the h-bar, the three stretchy outside cargo pockets, the easy-to-get-to dedicated phone pocket, the easy-to-attach rear tether cord, and the internal zipper pocket with a stretchy cord that dawns a key clip at the end. I like that it is a good-sized bag, but doesn’t look “clunky” when it’s attached to the bike.
Using the Ornot Large Handlebar Bag
I wanted to do something a little different for this review. Being that I am reviewing a handlebar bag, I’ll talk about the bag’s unique features and how they’ve suited me personally for the last few months.
These features are identical on both of the bags that I have, so there’s no need to talk about how they performed on which bike… it’s a handlebar bag, it did great, no matter what bike I was using it on.
So, I’ll just just be touching on the bitchen features of the bag, like…
The Way It Attaches
The large handlebar bag uses two, 6-inch, included Voile Straps to attach it to the handlebars. The bag offers different strap slots allowing for width adjustment when attaching to the bars.
The spacing can allow the straps to be 4″ apart, up to 6″ apart. This enables you to find the right spot to fit your particular handlebar configuration. I find the Voile Straps much easier to deal with than long velcro straps. The straps have a much cleaner look as well.
The Stretchy Outside Cargo Pockets
There are three external, see-through cargo pockets on the Large Handlebar Bag. These pockets are easy to get to and are not tight against the body of the bag. This allows you to actually use them to hold things.
There are two pockets located side-by-side at the back of the bag. These are perfect for goodies you want quick access to frequently while riding. The rear pockets even slant down towards the outside of the bag, allowing for easier access with minimal handlebar interference.
There is also one large, side-loading pocket at the front of the bag. This one is great for less frequent, quick access, like storing your sunglasses or a larger snack for enjoyment off the bike.
Ornot Large Handlebar Bag’s Dedicated Phone Pocket
Probably my favorite feature of this bag is the dedicated side phone pocket. It is specifically a purpose-built pocket for your phone. It’s really easy to use and puts your phone right at your fingertips. Thus making it ready to be grabbed and used to capture the moment while on the fly. You don’t have to unzip anything or fiddle through a semi-full bag. You don’t even have to stop if you don’t want to.
It has an elastic cord that can be pulled over the top of the phone and hooked to the available hook while stored in the pocket. This will keep your phone in place when the going get’s rough. Keep the cord off for more of a quick-draw use of the phone, for those rides where the views just keep coming.
The Wrap-Around YKK Zipper
The wrap-around zipper that’s on this bag is so easy to zip and unzip. Plus it dips down on the left side of the top of the bag, offering a unique way to get easier access when the bag is fully zipped open. The zipper itself, has little to no resistance when zipping it open, allowing for easy one-handed operation while riding.
With the zipper open, it provides a big opening allowing you to squeeze just about anything you want in there. It was easy to slip my Sony a6000 in the bag for a recent photo shoot, even with my bigger lens on it.
The Rear Tether
The rear tether is very intuitive and easy to attach. It keeps the bag stable and in one spot, allowing for the easy use of the main zipper. The way it is designed aids with the ease of adjustment when attaching the bag to your bike. It also allows for really easy removal, making it perfect to remove and swap between bikes.
The Internal Pocket w/ Key Clip
Who doesn’t like to stay organized? Or better yet, who wants to be fishing through a full handlebar bag in search of your keys? The internal pocket is the ideal size for a small wallet, tools, a tire repair/plug kit, a few emergency Fig Newtons, as well as a place to put your tethered keys, making them easy to find when the bag is stuffed full.
Retail and My Final Thoughts
Colors: EcoPak Black, EcoPak Coyote, and EcoPak White
Over the past few months, I’ve used these two bags for everything from holding my camera for photo shoots to carrying extra layers, like an extra flannel, and a jacket. I’ve used it a lot on night rides where I’ll start with normal gloves while keeping a pair of warm gloves for the ride back when it gets cold. I’ve used it for carrying my beer for our “beers at the dam” night rides.
I find the Ornot large Handlebar Bag to be large without looking bulky and cumbersome. It is light and can easily be kept on the bike even when not being utilized. That’s what I do, I keep them on my bike even when they are empty, You just never know when you may need to stop somewhere on the way to pick up a taco or two, hit the store, or find some cool road/trailside treasure… so yeah, they’re mounted 24/7.
In Conclusion with a Lil’ Water Stain
The build quality is top-notch and should last for quite some time. I did notice that after my first “beers at the dam” ride with the bag on my Gus, a water stain could be seen from the outside. I ran a 16oz Modelo wrapped in foil, and stuffed in a Ziplock with some ice in it. As a result, the bag got wet on the inside from the condensation on the Ziplock bag.
If the water stain on the outside of the bag would bother you if you owned one, you probably shouldn’t do the beer with the water and ice thing. I don’t mind it, it gives the bag a nice patina look.
I expect this bag to last a long time, and I would suggest it to anyone. The quality is top-notch, the company sports a branding ethos I can get behind, and the price is right. In fact, it even topped our list of the best handlebar bags on the market.
Check out their other items at the link below.